Finding a best friend isn’t easy. But best friends really do complete a person. Bert had Ernie. Big Pun had Fat Joe. Frida Kahlo had that freaky uni-brow. Our best friend can help us in ways that nobody else can.
Last week, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff visited the United States and had a formal meeting with President Obama. While some progress was made at their meeting, more needs to be done to truly make the United States and Brazil the best of friends. Brazil is rising economically. I’ve already mentioned that in previous articles.
Now to placate those of you who like lists:
How closer ties to Brazil can benefit the United States:
- Brazil can provide a market for American goods and services – Brazil is the world’s sixth largest economy with a growing middle class. Do you know what middle-class people in booming economies do? Buy stuff.
- Brazil can pressure China to float its currency – China is Brazil’s largest trading partner. It also artificially keeps its currency low. Having another voice complaining about China’s scheming might have an effect.
- Brazil can serve as a positive influence to the nations of South America – Look, there are some governments in Latin America that are anti-American, at least in rhetoric. Cuba, Ecuador, Venezuela and Nicaragua can learn from a country that is both populist and pro-American.
How closer ties to the United States can benefit Brazil
- The United States has plenty of prestigious universities – If Brazil sends students to the U.S., they may make Brazil more productive.
- The United States may help Brazil become a permanent member of the UN Security Council – Permanent membership will give the U.S. veto power.
- The United States is a leading producer of weapons – Brazil is increasing the size of its military and the U.S. has the high quality weaponry it needs.
Now, here comes the reality.
Last week when Obama and Rousseff met, not much was accomplished. Sure Obama called Rousseff his “very good friend,” and they made some joint statements and took some nice photos together. But nothing of that much importance occurred. For example, nothing was said of the crisis in Syria or Iran’s nuclear program. But the U.S. did agree to recognize cachaca, while Brazil in turn agreed to recognize Tennessee whiskey.
In all seriousness, yes, as Americans, most of us would love to see our country retain its global dominance that has brought us many benefits. The world is changing though, with more countries aspiring to claim superpower status.
Instead of retreating, or turning outright competitive, the U.S. should forge close ties with a country like Brazil. In the end, Americans and Brazilians will all benefit.